Lakewood Challenged By Growing Population, To Reach Over 90,000 By 2010


bmg-smallIf projections are correct, Lakewood, NJ, will have a population of at least 90,000 people by 2010 – 30,000 more people than 10 years ago. The population growth is fueled by relocations to the township and an explosive birth rate, said Stanley C. Slachetka, a town planner with Middletown-based T&M Associates. “By all empirical measures, you’ve had significant growth,” he said.

For every 1,000 people there were more than 44 births in 2005, which is the latest state data available. The birth rate is about four times the state average, and it is the highest birthrate in the Garden State. The births added more than 2,000 people to the town in 2005. More than 86,770 of Ocean County’s estimated 565,493 people live here.

To meet the demand of a ballooning population, township officials are considering a plan that would spell out how the town will grow over the coming decades. It focuses on making redevelopment easier for private property owners and mixed-use developments, which allow for several types of property uses – residential, retail and office space, for example – to be placed on a single piece of property.

Slachetka presented that Smart Growth plan Tuesday night before the Planning Board during the first of two “community visioning” public hearings. A second hearing is scheduled for 5 p.m. today before the Township Committee.

Support and opposition are divided along a tight demographic line. Representatives from the frum Jewish community were overwhelmingly in favor of the plan, and representatives from the adult communities were typically opposed.

Lakewood’s sprawling development has been “random and disjointed,” said Rabbi Moshe Weinberg, chairman of the Lakewood Development Corp.

Rabbi Weinberg said the plan would provide the “unified vision” the town has lacked. The development corporation supports the adoption of the plan, he said.

Targeted areas include a tract of land on Cedarbridge Avenue near the Lakewood Blueclaws baseball park, the downtown, land on either side of Oak Street and land west of Massachusetts Avenue. Schools and transportation hubs would link the neighborhood cores and the township’s center.

“We came here to get away from the noise, bus depots and multifamily housing,” said David Ransom, a resident in one of the township’s adult communities.

The adult community residents and other senior citizens wanted the plan to address growing traffic problems, and to slow the growth of the town. On the other side of the argument is Yanky Braunstein, the owner of ClearPoint Services LLC land surveyors, who sees the plan as a means to expand businesses.

{APP/Noam Newscenter}


  1. Build!Build!Build!I am amazed at the hypocrisy of those who live in new construction themselves but then complain about new developments crowding Lakewood.Plus anyone who moved to Lakewood in the past 20 years did so with the clear knowledge that Lakewood would be experiencing exponential growth and construction.

  2. with some 1500 units being proposed for cedarbridge including many residential rentals, commercial space etc, should aleviate the shortage of rentals and housing in Lakewood.
    I hope the general tax burden will be lessened for the Tzibur. We need a high tax rate of at least $3.50 + in order to keep the spending in line. (of course the property values will have to be adjusted way down)

  3. If the surrounding communities house senior citizens and elderly, then the Lakewood community is on the cusp of making either a major Chillul Hashem or Kiddush Hashem, depending on how they deal with the seniors who will be forced to move.

  4. The seniors are not being forced to move . The seniors built over 3000 units 8 to the acre on land zoned for 1 house per acre . They moved in over the last 5 to 12 years . They have the hypocrisy to tell the people who have lived here for 30 years that we should not build . They were the biggest overbuildes in Lakewood in History

  5. It will be for those who want to pay the steep price being asked to live in the crowded,ugly cheaply built, unlandscaped developements.